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saxophone improvisations for island life, Part 2:

Nolan Park Tree composition

October 2010
This project was made possible by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's Swing Space program; Space in Building 110 on Governors Island is donated by The Trust For Governors Island.

Tree Composition - overall 1

NOLAN PARK TREE COMPOSITION

For this second saxophone project on Governors Island I used the positions of the trees in Nolan Park as data to write a score. Using the idea of sonic measuring as inspiration, I chose a random “sax sounding platform” by putting a spike in the ground in Nolan Park. From that point I measured the distance to each tree. With this measurement I derived a note within the range of the tenor saxophone (Bb instrument) from a low A (Bb played against the thigh) to high into the altissimo range. I measured the circumference of each tree and used this data to derive the weight of the note (whole, half, quarter, eighth, etc.). I also mapped the tree types and used this data as a basis to interpret the density of the note, for bending or crispness. I made one additional map that marked the color of the letter of the note according to my color grapheme synesthesia. I haven't been able to use this data yet. Spinning a wire clockwise from the “sax sounding platform” on the drawings, I wrote the notes in the order in which they hit the wire. The audio recording is of me playing the resultant score. This played through speakers that were placed inside each of the trees. The video camera is spinning on the “sax sounding platform”. In the ideal performance circumstance, one tenor sax player will play the piece spinning on the “sax sounding platform” while circular breathing. Because I am new to the instrument, my score is more advanced than my skills. Therefore, the piece you are hearing skips the altissimo notes above F#, with the exception of two “squeakers,” (therefore ten notes are missing), and I am not circular breathing. My score has more to teach me.

Tree Composition - distance Tree Composition - circumference Tree Composition - tree type
DISTANCE CIRCUMFERENCE TYPE
Tree Composition - treble clef Tree Composition - note letter Tree Composition - note weight
TREBLE CLEF NOTE LETTER NOTE WEIGHT
Tree Composition - note color   Tree Composition - score
NOTE COLOR   SCORE
Tree Composition - overall 2
Tree Composition - score
Tree Composition - score pt.1
Tree Composition - score pt. 2
Tree Composition - overall 3
 

Tree Composition - overall 5

 

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